Conrad Bladey


5 Things I Have To Have Now

June 29, 2008|By Alex Plimack

Self-proclaimed "cartist" Conrad Bladey has been creating works of art from cars for the past 20 years in Linthicum. The extravagant vehicles have become staples at the annual Artscape, where two years ago they were sans gas engines. Bladey then sought to create a human-powered art car, what he says was the natural progression in the project. The Art Gurney, devised from a gurney bought at the Maryland State Surplus Warehouse, was decorated with buttons and paint from other car projects and serves as a memorial to a friend who passed away during its construction.

"It is quite useful for hauling the food, cooler and other essentials, but it is also comfortable as a lounge chair," Bladey says.

Bladey will feature the Art Gurney at Artscape in July, where it will be the centerpiece of his horn hat collection (brass horns on artistic hats that can be played while walking).

1. Gasoline and money

"I shall combine two into one. The arts community and institutions consume art, creating wear and tear more than they support it, so we are left with many repairs and lots of wear and tear on the vehicles. ... I do not regret the money spent; however, real support for the arts would be good and helpful. I do not want a profit - I would give it away. I just hope to break even."

2. A place in the country, paid off

"I am a student of architecture and would greatly appreciate an old Victorian eclectic-styled structure with elements of many architectural styles. A structure for the mind to journey."

3. Revelers

"In addition to being an artist, I am a professional folklorist. I specialize in calendar customs - customs and celebrations that occur at the same time each year. Despite knowing the rituals, artifacts and recipes, and customs, it is difficult these days to find proper revelers."

4. A season ticket to the opera

"It is torture that one of mankind's greatest inventions, opera, is kept out of reach of the ordinary citizen because of inflated costs at all levels."

5. A new car

"Preferably large; preferably with its own gas. It will be made into an art car one minute after I receive it! All of my current cars are old."

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